Joy is a deep-seated confidence and contentment that transcends circumstances. It is the assurance that we are loved, valued, and chosen by God. When we abide in Christ, His words and teachings will dwell in us, and His joy becomes a part of our lives. It is a joy that remains steadfast, regardless of the challenges we face.
As we look towards Resurrection Sunday, let us not neglect Good Friday. Let us earnestly take the time to reflect on the death of our Savior. I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). This day is a solemn reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for our sins.
Angels have been showcased in Hollywood, in sports teams, and even as a common Christmas tree topper. Let’s face it. We have all seen ornate depictions of angelic beings with wings and a halo. Why are so many people fascinated by the thought of angels yet completely and utterly indignant toward God?
The context of the circumstances here are grim. The picture of Jesus, His body ripped and torn from the beatings and scourging. The crimson blood streaming down from the crown of thorns mixing with the tears streaming down our Saviors face. The executioners drive the stakes through His hands and feet, sending unimaginable shockwaves of pain as they rent through nerves and flesh. It is in this very moment that, quite possibly, we see the best example for prayer ever displayed within the confines of time and space.
What do we think about when it comes to baptizing a new believer into the Christian faith? I once heard a pastor talk about how, when they baptized people at his church, they also handed out engraved little tombstones to each new convert. While this is quite unusual, I believe it speaks volumes about the reality of the true Christian.
This enthusiastic plea from Isaiah to be the one the Lord sends is absolutely remarkable! However, upon consideration, we will see that Isaiah was responding the only way he could. You see, this plea from Isaiah happens during an event that would forever change Isaiah’s life. Isaiah has just encountered the living God!